That’s because this was some kind of social experiment where researchers set up a WiFi hotspot in London which had a lengthy t&c section.
The terms contained a “deliberately ridiculous” term which, if you’d read, said that in return for the free access to the internet, the individual using the service was prepared to “render up their eldest child for the duration of eternity”.
The report is called ‘Tainted Love: How Wi-Fi Betrays Us’ by security and privacy company F-Secure. It states that, regarding people allowing their children to be given up for eternity: ”Despite this, six people decided that it was a fair exchange and signed up.”
Hopefully, the researchers will see the clause out in scenes akin to the baby being fought for in Ghostbusters 2. Hopefully they’ll have a massive magic oil painting too.
The report concluded: “Our results illustrate the very real problem of the modern world which is that – while massively dependent on the technology – the population is unaware of its capabilities for surveillance and intrusion into their lives. The problem is that people implicitly trust their technology and are not aware of the implications of that trust.”
“There is an insatiable pursuit of bandwidth, driven mainly by the desire to have video, data-rich apps and super-fast website performance on the move.”
“This appetite for bandwidth has blinded consumers to the risks that they are taking. In pursuit of free bandwidth, people are prepared to do anything as our experiment showed with its draconian terms and conditions.”
In fairness, the six people involved might have really quite horrible children. You just don’t know do you? Have you met some of them? They can be infuriating.
TL;DR – Breaking news: People don’t read terms and conditions on anything, ever.
eBay have been having a right old time of it lately.
They’ve now been hit by online badmen who’ve been phishing and rinsing unsuspecting customers for their usernames and passwords, by placing fake item listings and redirecting users to external sites.
According to a BBC report, it was brought to attention by an eBay PowerSeller who thought something was a bit fishy about an iPhone 5 listing that took him to a weird address.
He’s also provided a video about, bless him.
The IT professional told the BBC: “It’s guaranteed – you can bet your bottom dollar that somebody’s going to click on that and be redirected to a third-party site and they’re going to enter their details and be compromised.
“You don’t know how many of the hundreds of thousands of people who use eBay will have done that.”
eBay have removed the listings, but it’s likely to be the tip of a vast iceberg, as it tries to find out how many people had been fooled by it. It’s the last thing eBay need, having had a dozen service crashes this year already.
But anyway. Keep ‘em peeled.
Deleting music from your iTunes should be pretty easy, but the hoo-hah as been so loud about U2 appearing on people’s devices without being asked, Apple have had to make a token gesture.
Some of the more hysterical sorts have been screaming their lungs through their noses with things like “IF THEY CAN PUT A U2 ALBUM IN EVERYONE’S PHONE, IMAGINE WHAT ELSE THEY CAN PUT IN THERE?!?!?! AAAAARGH!!!!” while other people have shrugged and thought ‘nice idea, but I don’t like U2.’
Well, Apple have released a new tool which allows people to remove U2′s new album from their iTunes library with greater ease.
While it was always possible to remove the album yourself, this new thing is a one-click job, which means that should appease a few lunatics out there.
Apple have also set up a support website to guide people through this difficult time.
Nearly 5 million Gmail addresses and plain text passwords was posted on a forum this week, which is a massive pain in the arse for someone – probably the person who has to answer questions at Google about security breaches and the like.
Someone called ‘tvskit’ posted the archive file on a Bitcoin security forum called btcsec.com, which you can imagine, is a riotous read and will keep you entertained for literally seconds. They reckon that over 60% of the credentials in the file are valid.
“We can’t confirm that it is indeed as much as 60%, but a great amount of the leaked data is legitimate,” said Peter Kruse, the chief technology officer of CSIS Security Group. “We believe the data doesn’t originate from Google directly. Instead it’s likely it comes from various sources that have been compromised.”
What that means is, Google haven’t been hacked, but rather, accounts on other sites where people have used their Gmail addresses as the user name have been obtained.
Google said: “The security of our users is of paramount importance to us. We have no evidence that our systems have been compromised, but whenever we become aware that an account has been compromised, we take steps to help our users secure their accounts.”
In conclusion, here’s the usual ‘you might want to change your password on sites where you’ve used your Gmail address as a user name’ advice.
What of the security of our cloud accounts? And don’t worry, Daily Mail readers, we’re not talking about an actual cloud in the sky.
Well, Apple have peered out of the mess and conjecture and said that, while the celebrities’ iCloud accounts were “compromised”, there’s nothing wrong with the system as a whole.
In a statement released yesterday, they said that hackers stole private photographs from accounts using “a very targeted attack on user names, passwords, and security questions”.
“None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.”
So, in short, Apple are saying that, unless you’re an attractive famous person, you shouldn’t worry that anyone will come after you for your personal photos.
The FBI have said that they’re looking for the original hacker. If they find them, everyone knows that it won’t stop people trying to get all up in the business of famous people.
And furthermore, even if hackers or whatever don’t go after people’s things, no-one should worry about personal privacy because we collectively don’t have any to begin with, if we’re online.
As you’re no doubt aware, Jennifer Lawrence has had some naked selfies stolen from her, and according to the very reputable 4chan, they were swiped by someone hacking her iCloud account. If you haven’t seen the photos, then chances are we’ve lost you and you’re burrowing into a search engine now, looking for boobs.
How can you keep your cloud accounts safe? If you have an account with iCloud, Dropbox or Google+, you might find that they automatically upload and save your images.
First thing to do is to make sure your password doesn’t get stolen or is difficult to guess. That’s blindingly obvious, but worth mentioning. Change your passwords regularly and make sure they’re not words, but rather, a collection of letters, numbers and symbols.
It doesn’t matter how safe cloud accounts are made if your password is 123456 or ‘password’.
Another thing you can do is make sure that you switch off the automatic backup services. In all Apple devices, you can disable Photostream. If you turn it off, it’ll delete any automatically stored images from iCloud. You’ll have to delete any manually shared Photostreams yourself.
With Dropbox, your Android device can be set-up to upload every photo and video you take into the cloud. If that’s not your thing, go to ‘settings’ and turn the option off. You’ll also need to delete them from Dropbox manually.
On Android, G+ and Picasa, you can disable automatic photo backup in the Photos app on your device. You’ll need to go to ‘settings’ then Auto-Backup and then untick ‘Back up local folders’.
Of course, you’re not a celebrity so the chances of someone wanting to hack your account and share your photos are slim. However, if you’re feeling jumpy or just want to disable these functions, now you know how.
You’re still not reading this are you. You’re still looking at boobs.
The new BSI (British Standards Institution) kitemark has been applied to Barclay’s new Pingit mobile payment service and Barclays Mobile Banking, after they were independently assessed.
Although the kitemark is initially being piloted within the banking industry, the BSI envisages that its use will be adopted by a wider range of firms – for example within the entertainment industry.
Anyone wanting to get a kitemark for their product will have to go through hardcore testing so that their security meets the required standards for dealing with confidential data.
Those that meet the standards will be able to give customers confidence by displaying the kitemark on their products and in their marketing materials.
This is quite the thing as three quarters of Brits now use the internet for shopping and just over half now bank online.
Maureen Sumner Smith who is the UK managing director at BSI, used her mouth and said: “More and more of us are now sharing confidential information through online shopping, mobile banking, booking flights, gaming, university applications or interacting with local government. These behavioural changes from the physical to the digital demand the need for even more rigorous security measures.”
“Many organisations have good information security processes already established, but by having their systems independently tested on a regular basis as part of the BSI kitemark process, they can clearly demonstrate to customers their commitment to safeguarding information.”
The British intelligence agency GCHQ, have launched an online game to test whether you’d be any good at stopping a fictional attack.
GCHQ are hoping to find some masterminds among the gameplayers, and then use them, USE THEM FOR THEIR MINDS.
And it’s not a piece of puff, winners of previous missions have gone on to work at the agency.
In the game, called ‘Assignment: Astute Explorer’, users must protect a fictitious aerospace technology company threatened by imminent attack from imaginary cyber terrorists called The Flag Day Associates. There’s even YouTube threats and all sorts. Fancy that!
The story goes that fictitious company Ebell are concerned about the threat of an imminent attack and have asked GCHQ operatives (the public playing the game) to assess the scale of the threat. Sounds like fun.
If you fancy your chances at, you know, one day possibly saving the world, head here.
You know that Google tracks your every movement don’t you? Unless you’ve tinkered with the location settings on your phone, they know where you’ve been going. Including that late night jog you went on… to a massage parlour.
Well, if you didn’t know, there’s a map online, where you can see to what level Google have been following you around.
Of course, many of you will look at your map and realise that you’ve got the life-radius of a beetle tied to a nail, walking around in ever decreasing circles.
You’ll have to log in with your Google account, but once you do, you’ll see a 2D map with a record of where you’ve been for the last month. Whether you think this is a cause for concern is your business, but looking at the map of your recent history might make you feel a bit weird in a Minority Report kinda way.
Have a look at the map of your whereabouts here.
Google have been relatively open about how they scan everyone’s emails – it is so they can tailor adverts to customers and make loads of money. However, not everyone is happy about that, especially with all that NSA business.
However, reports say that a Google tip-off from the contents of a Gmail account ended up in the arrest of a child abuser from Texas. Police say Google told the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about the content in an email sent by John Henry Skillern, who is a registered sex offender.
“He was trying to get around getting caught, he was trying to keep it inside his email,” said Detective David Nettles. “I can’t see that information, I can’t see that photo, but Google can.”
So what’s going on?
Pictures are hashed which creates a unique code for an image. The hash is compared with a database of known child abuse images and, if they match, details are passed to the NCMEC (or, if you’re in Britain, the Internet Watch Foundation, who Google actually give funding to). Then, a trained expert looks at the case and decides whether or not to pass it on to the police.
AOL also employ a similar system and they caught someone sharing illegal images last year.
The moral quandary is that, while the capture of child abusers is absolutely good and noble, Google and others are sifting through everyone’s correspondence and repacking it for advertisers. With Google’s buying of Nest, some people even think that they’ll be able to spy on you via your thermostat (a bit like the Piers Brosnan robot house in The Simpsons).
So what’s the trade off? If you’re not doing anything wrong, should people be scanning your emails? Do you not mind because child abusers can be caught? Is this case being crowed about in a bid to try and distract users from something a bit dodgy going on? Or do we just accept it because this is how the internet works?